South Okanagan conservation initiative to aid Bighorn Sheep, other endangered species

The Nature Trust of British Columbia announced the purchase, yesterday, Aug. 24, 2017, of a fill in piece of property on the east side of Skaha Lake. The property complements other conservation purchases along the east side of Skaha Lake.
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PENTICTON - A piece of Skaha Lake eastside property has been purchased by The Nature Trust of British Columbia.

The trust announced the purchase yesterday, Aug. 24, of the roughly 35.4 hectares, which contains critical habitat for Bighorn Sheep. It was purchased by the Trust adjacent to an existing piece of land already included in the McTaggart- Cowan/Nsek’iniw’t Wildlife Management Area.

The property consists of open grassland interspersed with ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, according to a media release. The habitat provides grazing land and steep, rocky bluffs afford the sheep protection from enemies.

The parcel is also contained within two of the most endangered biogeoclimatic zones, buchgrass and ponderosa pine. Other species at risk including the white-throated swift, western rattlesnake and the Amercian badger can be found in the area.

Conservation lands also lie to the north and east. Eastside Road borders the western boundary of the property while a housing development borders the south.

Conservation values will focus towards increasing the quality of Bighorn Sheep habitat, improving connectivity of sheep movement within the wildlife management area and decreasing human disturbances.

“This property is one of the last remaining undeveloped benchlands on the eastside of Skaha Lake,” Nicholas Burdock, The Nature Trust of BC’s Okanagan Conservation Land Coordinator says in the release. “It takes you only a few steps to recognize how beautiful this location is and why it is so important that it remain in a natural state. There are many rare plants and animals that rely on this landscape; it really is a special place in the South Okanagan.”


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